‘Going nowhere’: Heavy snowfall forces Manchester Airport to temporarily close both runways

UK

Manchester Airport temporarily closed both of its runways due to heavy snowfall.

The airport said it was clearing the airfield as pictures showed travellers stuck inside planes on the runway.

In a tweet, the airport said health and safety will “always be our top priority” and advised passengers to contact their airline for the latest flight information.

After a 2.5hr shutdown, at around 9am the airport said “operations have resumed” and thanked passengers for their patience.

A Virgin Atlantic flight from Atlanta was diverted from Manchester to London following the runway closures, according to flight tracking website FlightRadar24.

One traveller at Manchester Airport said they had already faced a two-hour delay and were sat on a plane for another hour “going nowhere”.

It comes after temperatures plunged to below -10C (14F) in parts of the UK overnight.

A number of severe weather warnings for snow and ice have been in place across the UK during the past few days following a fall in temperatures.

Manchester airport
Image:
Pic: Elgan Thomas

Drumnadrochit near Inverness in the Highlands hit -10.4C (13.28F) in the early hours of Thursday, making it the coldest recorded temperature of the year so far.

As the temperature in Topcliffe in north Yorkshire dropped to -7.4C (18.68F), the coldest in England, Manchester Airport announced the temporary runway closures at around 6.30am.

Check the Sky News weather forecast where you live

Pic: FlightRadar24
Image:
Pic: FlightRadar24

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice across Manchester and other parts of the UK until midday today, with wintry showers expected to bring “further disruption”.

Forecasters expect milder air to start moving in from Friday afternoon in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Drivers have been urged to be careful after dozens of people were injured following a crash involving a double-decker bus and a motorcycle in freezing conditions in Somerset on Tuesday.

Avon and Somerset Police received more than 100 reports of road-related incidents in the space of just five hours on Monday night – with treacherous conditions causing most of them.

Between 6pm and 11pm, a total of 53 collisions were reported to the force, and seven of these incidents reportedly resulted in injuries.

A level three cold weather alert issued by the UK Health Security Agency, warning of conditions that “could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services” is in place until 9am on Friday.

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